We were fortunate to count on the support of past and new partnerships this holiday season. Our partnerships with Toys for Tots, My Stuff Bags Foundation, Our Lady of Lords Church and Sparks of Love spread the joy to children and families in need. In addition to these collaborations, we also established new relationships with organizations such as M.E.N.D., Smart & Final Charitable Foundation, and other community friends who offered hope, love and a brighter new year for those we serve.
This Christmas we began with high hopes and new ideas. We were determined to provide more to our families, and we did just that! Using social media, we asked for support and our community responded. Through our Adopt-A-Family program, organizations and families who follow us on social media adopted 20 families, totaling 87 people. To reinforce the need, our hospitality committee made up of employees helped spread the word. Based on the urgent needs, families adopted were nominated and chosen by our case managers and clinical supervisors.
The hospitality committee also invited the families to a special Christmas gathering, a private event where they took family photos with Santa and Santa delivered gifts donated by the Adopt-A-Family sponsors. The families indulged in a hot chocolate bar, pastries and arts and crafts for the little ones. Microwaves and bicycles were some of the big items families received, and a single mom was even given a check to help pay for her past due utility bill that had been delayed for months. What joy it was to see them smile and experience love and affinity from everyone!
Our community toy drive collected 60 new toys for the children served. With the generous support from Toys for Tots, Sparks of Love, and Our Lady of Lords church, we collected 745 toys to be evenly distributed to three office sites. Thankfully, My Stuff Bags Foundation donated 240 bags of comforting items for children in our program while M.E.N.D., the nonprofit food pantry, also welcomed us with open arms to choose non-perishable and fresh produce for our families who are homeless.
Working together we were able to provide our clients with a fun and memorable holiday season, all thanks to our community partnerships, dedicated supporters and caring staff.